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October 16, 2012
• 8:10 AM
• Stadion Miejski, Wrocław
Referee: M. Borski
• Attendance: 36000
Neymar 25', 48'
So it's finished Japan 0-4 Brazil in Poland, as the Samurai Blue's eight-match unbeaten run comes to an end. Two goals from Neymar and one each for Paulinho and the impressive Kaka were enough for the Selecao, who looked every bit contenders for the World Cup in their own back yard in two years' time. Mano Menezes may have come in for criticism recently, but make no mistake - Brazil are building momentum. A superb game, played in the right way and in the proper spirit, even if it was just a friendly. Thanks for joining me this afternoon - enjoy the rest of today's games!
90' + 4'
And Lucas' effort proves to be the last, as the referee draws the action to a close!
90' + 3'
So nearly a brilliant fifth from Lucas! He drives towards the box and turns this way and that before firing low and left-footed towards the far post, but it goes just wide.
90' + 1'
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played here in Poland.
Terrific counter-attack from Brazil, allowing Lucas to try a couple of stepovers and drive at his man before firing the ball across goal, and it's turned behind for a corner. Japan make a double change for the final minute or so.
Japan have another corner but will have to wait to take it, as Thiago Neves comes on for Oscar. Eventually the corner is whipped in and Diego Alves punches clear.
Sakai deals with Damiao's cross very calmly, turning away smartly from Lucas as the Paris Saint-Germain-bound attacker bore down on him. Brazil make another change, as Ramires is replaced by Sandro of Tottenham.
Neymar's race is run, and he gives way to Leandro Damiao. I imagine the Japanese right flank are delighted to see him depart. Lucas takes up the role to the left and bends in a cross but the keeper collects comfortably.
Another blistering attack from Brazil sees Neymar tee up Lucas on the edge of the box, but his shot cannons off the defender. Japan are instantly put back under pressure in their own half - the Selecao's pressing game has bee first-rate today.
Kaka is withdrawn to a rapturous reception, as Lucas Moura replaces him for the final ten minutes or so.
Neymar dances away from two on the touchline and attempts a one-two with Ramires but Japana are able to clear. Brazil bossing the ball with a real swagger now.
Assist Neymar Jr.
GOAL!!! And Kaka makes it four!! Konno is caught in possession on halfway and Hulk feeds it to Kaka, who strides into the box, turns away from Yoshida and fires confidently into the bottom corner. Sublime finish!
Brazil are knocking the ball around with ease now - you get the sense they are waiting for that killer pass to set up a fourth, or for the Japan midfield to tire as they chase the ball.
More clever play from Japan as Sakai is released in behind Castan. His cross is looped towards the far post where Endo attempts the spectacular, but Alves gathers the effort with ease.
Hitake fires in another Japan corner and Silva rises highest to head clear. The Samurai Blue are determined to get back into this match, and despite the scoreline, their work rate has been superb throughout.
Replays show that was another poor decision from the officials at that end - Neymar's cross was nowhere near going out of play, and Ramires has been denied a legitimate goal.
Silva mistimes his first tackle of the day and Japan get on the attack from the free-kick. Honda combines with Nagatomo and the Paris Saint-Germain man makes amends with a well-timed challenge. On the counter, Neymar's cross is adjudged to have gone out of play before Ramires turns it home - no goal.
Brazil's latest attack is halted as Kaka is incorrectly flagged for offside from Castan's pass. The movement of the front four today will give Mano Menezes lots to be happy about - they've given the Japanese back four a torrid time.
Penalty shout for Japan! More clever interplay between Kagawa and Honda allows the latter a run at goal, and the covering Adriano takes more than a bit of the man when he pokes the ball away. Tough call, but the Samurai Blue will no doubt feel hard done by there.
Hulk strikes it... off the post! The Zenit man drives it low, it takes a big deflection off the wall and rattles the inside of the frame of the goal.
Neymar is really in the mood here. Some dazzling footwork earns a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Big chance here for a big queue of takers...
Chance for 4-0! Castan heads Adriano's cross back across goal and Neymar launches himself at it but prods the ball just wide of the near post.
Adriano bursts down the flank and pulls it across for Neymar, who tees up Kaka only for the Real Madrid man to be blocked at the last moment. Japan launch a counter-attack which Silva eventually clears after a nervy few moments. End-to-end stuff here!
Kagawa has looked lively for Japan all afternoon, and he almost gets his side back in the match with a fizzing low drive from the edge of the box after dancing his way through the Brazil rearguard, but it goes just wide of Alves' left-hand post.
Goal Neymar Jr.
GOAL!!! It's 3-0, it's Neymar, it's game over! Oscar's deep corner drops to Neymar at the far post, he turns his man and scuffs a left-footed shot against the defender and watches it sneak in at the near post. Something of a scrappy one, but Neymar has probably put the match to bed with that.
Double change for Japan at half-time, with Gotoku Sankai and Takashi Inui coming on for Atsuto Uchida and Kengo Nakamura.
We're underway again in Poland - can Japan get back into this one?
@Conjuremasta called it right with a 2-0 half-time lead for Brazil, and now he's going all-out for a second-half Oscar hat-trick to make it 5-0 at full-time. We shall see... The second half is imminent here, so stay tuned!
So what did you make of the opening 45? What are your predictions for the second period? Hit me up on @JoeWright004 and stay tuned for the second half from Poland!
We have reached half-time here, and Brazil take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the break. Paulinho's impressive drive was followed by Neymar's confident penalty, while Kaka hit the post and Neymar could have scored another. Japan have tested Alves once or twice but will need to offer a lot more in the second half to get back into this one.
Play is winding now now as the interval approaches - it looks as though each side have got one eye on the break already.
Yellow Card David Luiz
Japan do really well to play their way out of trouble there, and Honda is released down the right before David Luiz blocks his advance rather cynically. He becomes the second player to find his way into the referee's notebook.
Nakamura's delivery comes to nothing, and Brazil are in possession again. Japan are noticeably sitting further back when they don't have the ball now - they look determined not to be caught out on the counter any more, something that Brazil have exploited for much of this half.
Yellow Card Ramires
@Dr__Bode says he's desperate for Kaka to get a goal today - he won't come much closer than that without finding the back of the net. Ramires has just been booked for a late challenge on Kiyotake, and Japan have a free-kick inside the Brazil half.
KAKA... off the post!! A stunning first-time pass from Hulk feeds Neymar wide on the left. He cuts inside and tees up the arriving Kaka on the edge of the area, but his measured right-foot shot smacks off the bottom of the far post and is cleared away!
Just as I say that, Hasebe drives from 25 yards to force Alves into another good save. The first corner is cleared behind, and Kagawa is flagged offside following the second.
@Conjuremasta is backing a 5-0 win for Brazil with a 2-0 half-time score - that could be a safe bet. Having said that, Japan are currently edging the possession stats but they look vulnerable every time Brazil come forward, so you feel there are more goals this half yet.
CHANCE FOR 3-0... Missed! Brazil find themselves in a four-on-two situation in attack, Kaka threads through to Neymar, but he can only fire over the bar left-footed when udner pressure. Let-off for Japan.
Japan almost hit back straight away as Endo's chip into the area causes Alves all kinds of problems and Adriano has to head behind for a corner. The resulting kick is met by Silva, and Endo sends is back out wide to Nakamura, who is offside.
That's Neymar's 15th goal in 25 senior appearances for Brazil - and you feel that's a tally he could well add to today before the final whistle.
Penalty Goal Neymar Jr.
Neymar.... GOAL!! A long, winding, stuttering run-up, but the Santos man fires high down the middle to put Brazil 2-0 up!
Kaka is brought down - PENALTY! Kaka combined with Adriano and was challenged when he received the return pass - it looks as though it's been awarded for hand-ball...
Kiyotake finds space down the right and bends a dangerous-looking cross in with his left foot but Silva rises highest to head clear. Hulk then tries to find a way around Nagatomo but the full-back holds him off and clears for a throw-in.
Hasebe is fouled and we've got a brief respite in play as Neymar goes down following Endo's challenge. He's up on his feet without treatment, and Japan get us back underway.
@slimayor is backing a 3-1 win for Brazil, and based on the opening 20 minutes here, I think there's good value for that prediction - both sides look a threat going forward, and both are a little suspect defensively. Don't forget that you can keep your tweets on the match coming in @JoeWright004!
PAULINHO.....No! The midfielder is slipped in behind the back four by Neymar, he rounds the goalkeeper superbly but pulls his low shot inches wide of the far post! It was a tight angle, but that was a huge let-off for Japan, who are looking increasingly fragile at the back.
Good chance for Brazil on the counter-attack but kaka is robbed on the edge of the area. At the other end, Kagawa is slipped through by Kioytake but the flag is up to rule him offside. This has been a really good game so far.
GOAL!!!!! Paulinho puts Brazil in front! Oscar carries the ball towards the area and lays it off to the Corinthians man, who drives from 25 yards into the bottom corner. Super strike from Paulinho!
Some clever interplay between Kaka and Neymar almost creates an opening for the 19-year-old but Endo manages to block his advance.
Chance for Nakamura - saved! A lovely one-two with Kagawa allows Nakamura the chance to shoot low from the edge of the area, and Alves is forced to parry it before Silva clears the lines. Japan's 'false 9' set-up is looking quite effective at the moment.
Japan launch an attack from the goal-kick and Honda's shot causes brief chaos in the Brazil box before a loose pass eventually brings and end to the move. It's been a lively opening exchange here so far.
Brazil have settled into a passing rythym now. Some good interplay frees Hulk down the right flank, and his chipped ball into the box drops nicely for Oscar, who attempts a spectacular overhead kick which loops over the bar.
Some good play from Japan is broken up by Silva and Kaka launches a long ball to Neymar. The Santos man holds up the ball and feeds Ramires, but his pass to Hulk is heavy and it goes behind for a goal-kick. Good chance on the counter-attack there for Brazil.
Brazil give the ball away cheaply and Nakamura almost worms his way through the defence. Kaka then concedes a free-kick on half way.
And the Selecao get us underway!
Yasuhito Endo of Gamba Osaka wins his 123rd cap today, making him Japan's most-capped player of all time. Roma's Leandro Castan, meanwhile, is making his Brazil debut, in place of the injured Marcelo.
The national anthems are being played to an impressive crowd here in Wroclaw - friendly or no, there are plenty here who are expecting a good spectacle.
So what are we predicting for today's match? Japan secured an impressive win in France on Friday whilst Brazil have won their last five, so something has to give here today, you'd feel... Hit me up on Twitter @JoeWright004 with your predictions!
Brazil (4-4-2): Diego Alves; Adriano, Silva, Luiz, Castan; Paulinho, Ramires, Kaka, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk. Kaka keeps his place after impressing in his return to Selecao duty against Iraq, while Leandro Castan replaces the injured Marcelo in Mano Menezes' only change.
Japan team (4-3-3): Kawashima; Sakai, Konno, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Endo, Hasebe, Nakamura; Kiyotake, Kagawa, Honda. Friday's matchwinner against France, Shini Kagawa, may well be deployed in a false 9 role today as Japan name a side without a recognised striker. Keisuke Honda is the only change from that match on Friday, as he comes in for Mike Havenaar.
Good afternoon one and all, and welcome to this afternoon's friendly clash between Japan and Brazil in Poland, with me, Joe Wright. Both sides enjoyed impressive victories in their respective outings on Friday, so we should be in for a exciting match-up today, even if there is nothing much more than pride at stake. Team news to follow!
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